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    Description

    Sioux Chief Rain in the Face: A Rare Autograph Obtained on a Ticket at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The ticket is affixed to a large souvenir book from the Fair, on the page which shows a photograph of Rain in the Face in front of Sitting Bull's cabin, which had been taken apart and reconstructed as an exhibit. Rain in the Face was a participant in one of several "cultural villages" at the Expo.

    The book is printed in German and intended for German-speaking visitors. The nephew of the man who visited the Exposition and obtained the autograph has written on the page beside the signed ticket: "Signature of Chief Rain in the Face who killed General Custer at the Little Big Horn. My uncle met the Indians at the World Expo personally" (Translated into English).

    The pencil signature is in the usual childlike block letter form typical of Indian autographs of the period. Not surprisingly, signatures like this are subject to being faked, and when one comes in a documented context like this, it is highly prized. In our fall 2012 Legends sale (Lot 38634), a Geronimo autograph, similarly documented on a scrapbook page from the 1904 St. Louis Fair, sold for a hammer price of $14,000, two to three times what an undocumented Geronimo signature typically fetches. The autograph of Rain in the Face while perhaps not having quite the "sizzle" of Geronimo's, is nonetheless much rarer.

    Rain in the Face was one of the most famous Sioux chiefs. He participated in the Battle of Little Big Horn, and while it is unlikely that he himself killed Custer, it is widely believed that he mutilated the body of Tom Custer, against whom he was known to bear a grudge. A newspaper clipping, also affixed to the book page, describes a knife attack on the Chief by his wife at the Exposition, solemnly declaring that 'should Rain-in-the-Face die, the squaw will be tried for murder." Fortunately, the Chief recovered and lived until 1905.

    The cover of the 12.5" x 10.75" souvenir book is separated at the spine, but the interior pages, including the one with the autographed ticket, are in excellent condition.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2013
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,262

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